MIOSHA eNews - November 2020


COVID Workplace Safety Update

In case you missed it, Sean Egan, Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director, hosted a live MIOSHA Emergency Rules Q & A to answer your most pressing questions about workplace safety amidst the pandemic as  business are able to reopen.

View the full video and the presentation for additional information.

Make sure you check out Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety – the one-stop-shop for employer, employee workplace safety resources including posters, videos, fact sheets and industry specific requirements. The website now, also includes a section of frequently asked questions that will be updated on a continuous basis. 

HVAC Webinars

Sean Egan, Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Michigan Saves, Consumers Energy and DTE concluded a webinar series to educate businesses on HVAC modification and maintenance to slow the risk of airborne transmission. These live virtual events provided businesses with important information and updates on how having a great air ventilation and filtration system is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

Anyone with questions regarding workplace safety and health may contact MIOSHA using the hotline at 855-SAFE-C19 (855-723-3219).

In addition to reviewing the Workplace Safety Guidelines, employers should continue to review U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) websites, to ensure their workplace policies and procedures are based on the most up-to-date information available.

Coffee With MIOSHA Recap

October 20, 2020 Coffee With MIOSHA

On Oct. 20 MIOSHA held the latest Coffee with MIOSHA (CWM) outreach event. While these events are normally held in-person, we conducted the session virtually due to the limitations from COVID. It was sponsored by the West Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and BHS Insurance. MIOSHA and ASSP have been in an alliance together since April 7, 2009. Nella Davis-Ray, Director of the MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division presented an agency update to the 61 attendees. We had representation from the General Industry and Construction Enforcement Divisions as well as safety and health consultants to assist in answering questions from the audience. This was the second virtual CWM event held this year. Our next CWM event is scheduled for Dec. 16, 2020, 9-11 a.m. with the Michigan Safety Conference as the host. Click here to view the virtual event.

Revised MIOSHA Publications

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The Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division has recently revised the following MIOSHA publications:

Visit our website to view all of our available publications. Here you can view/print out any of our publications. All of the materials on our website are free of charge. To place an online order for MIOSHA publications, visit our Online Publications Request Form.

2021 MIOSHA Working Day Calendar Now Available

Each year, the MIOSHA Appeals Division prepares a calendar to assist employers with correctly calculating working day deadlines. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health (MIOSH) Act contains many deadlines which only count “working days.” A “working day” is uniquely defined to be a day other than a Saturday, Sunday or state legal holiday. A state legal holiday is not the same thing as a state employee holiday. For instance, State of Michigan employees traditionally receive the day after Thanksgiving off work as a paid holiday. However, the day after Thanksgiving is not a state legal holiday. This can become confusing for employers when trying to sort out which days count toward the deadline and which don’t. The MIOSHA Working Day Calendar takes away the guess work and shows which dates are working days and which aren’t. Customers can view and print the 2020 and 2021 MIOSHA Working Day Calendars via MIOSHA’s website under the Compliance section within the Appeals Division content.  

2021 MIOSHA Working Day Calendar

Michigan Worker Deaths of 2020

To date, there have been 41 work-related fatalities reported to MIOSHA in 2020. The information below shares preliminary details about the most recent fatalities reported to MIOSHA which are believed to be covered by the MIOSH Act. The description reflects information provided to MIOSHA at the initial report of the incident and is not the result of the official MIOSHA investigation. To report fatalities/catastrophes, call MIOSHA at 800-858-0397.

Preliminary summaries of the most recent incidents:
A 54-year-old nurse at a hospital had developed symptoms of COVID-19 exposure. She tested positive and quarantined at her home. A wellness check was done by a representative from the hospital at the nurse's home on April 1, but she did not respond to knocks at the door. A neighbor and the representative entered the house with a spare key and found the deceased on a couch. 

The victim's spouse called the employer on March 23, and indicated the 52-year-old registered nurse had a fever and cough since the prior day. The victim was instructed to stay home and follow-up with his primary care physician or go to the emergency room, if needed. The victim was admitted to a hospital on an unknown date and passed away from complications from COVID-19 on April 4, 2020. The victim worked in the ICU where patients are admitted for COVID-19.

On March 30, a 64-year-old supply chain clerk called his employer to report that he had COVID-19 symptoms like cough, shortness of breath and chills since March 27 and was admitted to the hospital the same day. He passed away on April 10, 2020, due to COVID-19.

At the beginning of April, a 35-year-old patient care associate who provided direct care to COVID-19 patients, had COVID-19 symptoms and was admitted to a hospital. She passed away on April 12, 2020.

On April 9, a 49-year-old surgical technician had COVID-19 symptoms and was admitted to the hospital where she passed on April 12, 2020. The deceased worked part time at one hospital and full time at another hospital in Detroit.

A 69-year-old hemo dialysis technician was exposed to COVID-19 doing patient care. He began showing symptoms on April 2 and tested positive on April 3. He was being treated at home and passed away on April 13, 2020.

On April 9, a 63-year-old patient care associate had COVID-19 symptoms after attending to a COVID-19 positive patient. She was hospitalized on April 13 and passed away on April 18, 2020. The deceased provided direct patient care.

A 48-year-old environmental services associate assigned to the emergency department of a hospital tested positive for the coronavirus on April 14, 2020, was admitted into the hospital the same day, and passed away on April 30, 2020.

On March 23, a 44-year-old clinical social worker was hospitalized for COVID-19. He passed away on May 3, 2020. The deceased had exposures to COVID-19 patients; he talked to them in person about patient care.

A 47-year-old credentialing specialist worked in the same office with two coworkers who tested positive for COVID-19. She informed Human Resources that she got sick on April 2. Within a week, she was hospitalized and diagnosed with COVID-19. She passed away on May 6, 2020.

A 67-year-old laborer was the third of three employees who developed COVID-19 like symptoms that later tested positive for the disease. He self-isolated, never returned to work, and was admitted to a local hospital on May 13 for treatment. On May 19, 2020, his family informed the farm that he had died as the result of complications associated with COVID-19.

On Sept. 24, at approximately 2:00 p.m., a 40-year-old project superintendent was inspecting and measuring for future road work when he was struck by a vehicle.

On March 24, a 57-year-old certified nursing assistant tested positive for COVID-19 after being hospitalized the day before. She provided residents assistance with daily activities. She did not do any medical procedures. Certain residents and employees had tested positive for COVID-19 in the nursing home.

On March 22, a 65-year-old certified nursing assistant had a seizure and went to the hospital. She tested positive for COVID-19, was put on a ventilator, and passed away on April 10, 2020. She did not give medication to residents but would assist them with daily activities like bathing, feeding, etc. She was exposed within the facility to residents and employees that tested positive for COVID-19.

On April 12, a 57-year-old registered respiratory therapist assisted a patient who she felt was a suspected COVID-19 patient. On April 14, she developed COVID symptoms and tested positive the next day. She was admitted to the hospital on April 16 and was sent home two days later for five hours, after which she returned to the hospital. On April 23, she was put on a ventilator and the employer was informed of her passing on June 4, 2020.

A 60-year-old supervisor was trying to repair a shot peening machine that was not running correctly. The supervisor was positioned underneath the machine and instructed another employee to unload the equipment. The employee had completed the unloading of the machine and when the machine tipped back to the load position, the supervisor was crushed. 

A 47-year-old truck driver was picking up a load to transport. When he exited his semi-truck, it began rolling forward. He attempted to stop his truck from moving by going to the front of his truck. The semi-truck continued to roll forward and crushed him between a truck and a stationary trailer. 

On Oct. 22, a 51-year-old field supervisor/operating engineer was operating a broom tractor on a public roadway when struck by a passenger vehicle. The employer was informed the employee passed away on Oct. 29, 2020.

A 41-year-old farm hand was at work for the day feeding calves and was found caught in the barn ventilation curtain unresponsive. Emergency services were contacted, the employee was brought to the hospital, and pronounced deceased.

There were 37 MIOSHA-covered deaths in 2019. 2009 saw the lowest number with 24. Every life is precious. Our mutual goal must be that every employee goes home at the end of every shift unharmed.

If you need help or assistance in ensuring your workplace is safe, MIOSHA is here to help. The CET Division provides workplace safety and health training and consultations to employers and employees throughout Michigan, free of charge. Contact CET today at 800-866-4674 or request CET services online.

Agency Instructions Issued

November 4, 2020 - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Interim Enforcement Plan

October 27, 2020 - Inspection and Citation Policy for Accident Prevention Programs and First Aid Training

Press Releases

October 26, 2020 - Michigan Businesses Awarded $8 Million to Support COVID-19 Workplace Safety

October 14, 2020 - Governor Whitmer takes action to protect workers, keep workplaces safe from COVID-19


Variances from MIOSHA standards must be made available to the public in accordance with Part 12, Variances (R408.22201 to 408.22251). MIOSHA variances are published online at michigan.gov/mioshavariances.

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